NEW YORK – The currentis the worst multi-state outbreak in more than a decade, according to health officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that the outbreak of food poisoning has spread to three other states.
Health authorities said they now have reports of 98 cases in 22 states, with the addition of Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The outbreak is attributed toin romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona.
According to the data of the CDC, the EE. UU they have not seen such a large multi-state outbreak since 2006. That outbreak dated back to spinach and was linked to 238 illnesses and five deaths.
Like the 2006 outbreak, the CDC says that the strain of bacteria behind the current outbreak tends to cause more serious diseases. Forty-six people have been hospitalized, including 10 with a form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The most recent illness began a week ago. No deaths have been reported.
At a news conference Friday, Matthew Wise, Ph.D., MPH, deputy director of the CDC Outbreak Response branch, said officials expect more illnesses to be reported.
Health officials say the new information does not change the previous advice that peopleunless they know it is not from Yuma. "If in doubt, do not buy it or do not eat it," said Wise.
Specifically, the CDC advises consumers and restaurants:
- Do not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless you can confirm that it is not from the growing region of Yuma, Arizona.
- Avoid whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, salads and chopped romaine salads and salads.
- Product labels often do not identify growth regions; therefore, do not eat or buy romaine lettuce if you do not know where it was grown.
Every winter, the Yuma region provides the majority of the products sold in the USA. UU
The Food and Drug Administration identified Harrison Farms of Yuma, Ariz., As the grower and the sole source of the entire romaine lettuce that made several people sick at an Alaskan correctional facility. However, it has not determined where contamination occurred in the supply chain.
"The agency is examining all possibilities, including contamination that may have occurred at any point in the chain of growing, harvesting, packaging and distribution before arriving atwhere served, "The FDA said in a statement.
Officials have not yet identified the specific source of the other diseases in the outbreak, so they say it is important to avoid all the romaine lettuces from the Yuma growing region.
Symptoms of E. coli include diarrhea, which can be bloody, severe stomach cramps, and vomiting. It usually takes an average of three to four days after eating contaminated foods for symptoms to appear.
The disease usually goes away in a week, but sometimes it can last longer and cause serious complications. Signs of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue and irritability, unexplained bruising or bleeding from the nose and mouth, and decreased urination. These complications are more common in young children under 5 years old, older adults and people with weakened immune systems.
Anyone who experiences these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
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